From Pandemic to Protest

How the pandemic changed social media and George Floyd’s death created a collective conscience.

In lockdown, our intake of negative news has increased with the number of reports of health services running out of supplies, the increasing number of deaths, and the basic disruption in daily living as we have been forced to lead socially distant lives and our connections with friends and family have come to a standstill. As a result, constant mind-numbing scrolling and almost compulsive consumption of negative media have acquired a new term: doomscrolling.

People no longer want to define themselves as anxious and alarmed individuals in lockdown but people with a sense of meaning and purpose. As more join the ongoing protests they are reaching for something that psychologists call mortality salience – a need to experience a sense of clarity about worldviews, values and purpose in society.

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